People of Promenade
At Liberty Promenade, we are the community that we serve.
Did you know that there are more than 2000 employees, who work behind the scenes to bring you exceptional service and convenience daily? But how did they get there, and what’s their career advice?
Over the coming weeks, watch our #PeopleOfPromenade video series on our Facebook page, offering insight into the varied roles within the mall, and how you can prepare for an interview that could shape your future.
Allan Clayton, Salesman, Supa Quick, from Mitchells Plain.
“In my capacity, I assist the manager, which inherently entails customer interactions, as well as delegation to various divisions, depending on the product of the customer. But the most important traits required for this role are good people’s skills and efficient communication skills. I started working immediately after high school, and entered the retail industry 10 years later, but the best advice I can share is: honesty is key, especially on your CV. Be transparent when being interviewed, and explain your life journey. Explain that you are willing to learn and work hard if given the opportunity to do so.
Working close to home is so convenient: there’s no traffic, I wake up later than usual, and if I need anything from the shop, I don’t need to drive there, because Liberty Promenade caters for all my needs.”
Marlene Rawood, Store Manager, J&M Biltong, from Mitchells Plain.
“I’ve been working at Liberty Promenade since the doors opened 18 years ago, and have met amazing people along the way. Especially customers, who I formed a special bond with and with these friendships it evolved to a point where you consider them family.
In my role, I am the manager on duty, who gets to interact with our customers, but also the person who receives stock, loads it onto the data base, and is responsible for merchandising the store.
If you are considering a role in the retail industry, you need to be a people’s person, communicate efficiently, and be a leader who represents the company well.”
Kim Smith, Visual Merchandiser, Woolworths, from Mitchells Plain.
“I love working at Woolworths because the growth opportunities within the company are amazing, and you can work your way up. Post-matric, I took a gap year, became a till operator, then I applied for the Visual Merchandiser post and God opened the doors for me.
My job includes dressing mannequins, putting up boards on the walls, hanging banners, etc. The visual merchandiser role requires you to be creative, innovative, read magazines, watch fashion shows, know the colour palette, keep up with trends and stand out from the rest.
To many youngsters, things are tough, but don’t give up, and remember to send your CV out digitally and not on printed paper.”
Nushaana Davids, Finance and Admin Officer, Liberty Promenade Centre Management, from Mitchells Plain.
“I matriculated at Tafelsig High, and got my accounting qualification at CPUT. I started my career as a trainee accountant at an accounting firm, and worked at different companies in different industries.
My current role includes working with income statements, balance sheets, bank recons, bank accounts, income, expenses and the like.
To be an accountant you need to be detail-oriented and adaptable to change, because we work in an environment that changes all the time. I enjoy working at Liberty Promenade because it’s close to home and the team I work with is dynamic, with diverse skills and experiences – and I draw from those experiences.
My best advice ahead of an interview is to research the company, and dress appropriately for the role you are applying for. And, in general, stay positive because your attitude determines your altitude.”
Grant Kleinsmith, Qualified Post-Basic Pharmacist Assistant, Clicks, from Mitchells Plain.
“Being at Clicks for 10 years, my daily functions include prepping for the vaccination process from 7.30am, to dispensing medication and the repeat prescription service.
I completed high school, studied travel and tourism, and worked at the airport for a year. Then I grabbed the Clicks learnership opportunity and I don’t regret it.
If you’re thinking of completing a learnership, you need to be focused, and be open to learning every day – in that way you will grow. You also need people’s skills, show patience and be analytical.
In the beginning one thinks about what you will earn, will this career be a good idea, but you need to learn and not just stay in your comfort zone. If there is an opportunity, grab it.
My best interview advice is to always be yourself, know the organisation and be familiar with the role you are applying for.
I enjoy working at Liberty Promenade because it’s in the heart of Mitchells Plain, and I love giving back to the community.”
Victor Swarts, Marketing Coordinator, Liberty Promenade Centre Management Office, Strandfontein resident
“I joined the Liberty Promenade family 9 years ago, and as Marketing Coordinator, I assist with the promotions for the mall, the tenants and the mall’s clients. I also assist with various community outreach programmes that the mall does.
I studied graphic design after high school, but ended up following the path of marketing, and I have no regrets about the career path switch.
Being a staff member has enabled me to learn so much from the industry, as well as from colleagues and community members.
If you are considering a similar career path, my best advice is to push forward, be motivated, and never let circumstances determine your outcome. And when you land an interview, remember to be yourself, have a conversation, and be confident. The person interviewing is looking for someone to add value, and having confidence shows your value to the company.”
Julio Coetzee, Maintenance Handyman, Liberty Promenade Centre Management, from Mitchells Plain.
“I specialise in electrical work and have been in this field for more than six years. I work on fault-finding, doing checks in the generator room, and tend to any minor problems, like tripping switches.
If this is a field of interest, you need to complete an N5 Certificate, get your wire licence, after which you will receive your electrician certificate. But you also need to showcase precision, focus, and be specific with colour-coding, because things can go wrong which could result in accidents. My advice to anyone looking for a job is while I know it’s not easy, you need to keep on going – things won’t happen, you need to make a move.”
Shane Soudien, Team Leader, Torga Optical, from Mitchells Plain.
“As Team Leader, for more than six years, I manage the front house, and it brings me closer to our shoppers and community. From the more technical aspect of cutting and fitting lenses into frames, to where I am today, 18 years later, I have upskilled through various courses and training.
At Torga Optical, we specialise in professional eyecare, and offer the latest professional lens technology and eyewear, at various price points. Eye health matters to us.
My job interview tip is: A good first impression counts. Be humble but have confidence in yourself. People can sense if you don’t.
As in many industries, experience matters, and it comes with time, and exposure counts in your favour, but you can work your way up. The optical industry has a lot of scope, and I am proof of it.”
Insaaf Naidoo, Sales Associate, Foschini, from Mitchells Plain.
“My sister dared me to work in retail and I took up the dare. I have been here for two years, and earned a promotion soon after I joined. I love working at Liberty Promenade because of the people.
In my role, I manage the Colette department at Foschini, pack and process the online merchandising, and also authorise in the store.
Post-matric, I worked for the family business and completed business studies. If you’re thinking of a future in retail, it’s important to be punctual and show flexibility in your work experience, and always be yourself.”
Natasha Ferdinando, Property Administrator, Liberty Promenade Centre Management Office
“My property journey began straight after high school; I went from working in various departments, such as creditors and debtors, to property administration, and have been in it for 30 years. In my role, I assist the leasing manager, and daily functions include providing offers for the tenants and addressing any queries that may arise regarding these offers or contracts.
If you are thinking of following a similar career path, you need to be methodical, pay attention to detail, and be willing to learn, listen and share previous experience and advice. I absolutely love working here, Liberty Promenade is close to home – 10 minutes away – and I have called Mitchells Plain home since 1976. Everyone is helpful, there is a true feeling of community and a sense of belonging.”
Sylvester Williams, Store Manager, Sound Match, from Mitchells Plain.
“I’m a people’s person and found my passion when I entered the retail sector 13 years ago. I have worked in different malls across Cape Town, but I am happy to be back in my hometown.
As the store manager, I am responsible for stock, making target, taking care of my colleagues and maintaining the integrity of the store. This position requires you to be a people’s person, passionate, patient, with the ability to handle criticism, because not every day is rosy.
When applying for any job, ensure your CV is updated with the correct referral details; always look presentable, regardless of the position you are applying for; maintain eye contact with the person asking you a question; and be punctual, it shows your keenness and intent for the position – those are little things people look at during interviews. I’ve also learned that there are things in life that will get you down, but it it’s all about how you choose to handle the situations you are in.”
Ashwill Swarts Store Manager, Jet, from Harmony Village.
“As the store manager, I make sure all aspects of the business flow correctly, processes are in place, and customers are kept happy. I also manage 57 people.
I love working with people, and I love the structure at Liberty Promenade; I’ve been here for nine years, communication and security are good, Centre Management and tenants work well together, and that’s why things run so smoothly.
I studied internal auditing for a year-and-a-half, realised it wasn’t for me, and then turned to retail. If you’re considering a role in retail, my advice is be hungry to learn and show eagerness; things will come your way, but don’t see it as a problem, see it as a challenge.
I sit on many interview panels, and my advice is: use the interview as an opportunity to sell yourself; be confident and assure the interviewer that you are the right person for the job.”
Chadwell Cupido, Auto-Electrician, Battery Centre, from Mitchells Plain.
“I like working at Promenade because it is convenient, close to home, and I know a lot of people here. You can say working here, shaped my life.
My neighbours were always busy with cars, I was curious, and it was a natural fit.
I went to Oval North High, studied at the College of Cape Town for 3 years, and with the assistance of Battery Centre, I completed my studies, and have been working here since 2013 now. Today, I am a qualified auto-electrician.
At Battery Centre, we take pride in being the battery specialists, and do auto-electrical diagnostics of starters, alternators, wiring, fitting of lights, and aircon-regas.
If you enjoy fixing things and have a passion for cars, this is a career worth exploring. “
Willene Maritz, Technical Administrator, Liberty Promenade Centre Management, from Mitchells Plain.
“I matriculated at Portland High, then completed a secretarial and administration course, and soon after, in 2007, my career at Liberty Promenade Centre Management began.
I was as a customer information officer, then took on the role of receptionist, and now I am a technical administer. In my capacity, I ensure the soft services are paid on a monthly basis, and these include the contracts for security, cleaning, waste, etc.
If you’re considering a similar position, you need to have the mindset of doing today’s work today; be confident, and learn to communicate well, because you have to work with different people on different levels. I love working at Liberty Promenade because I get to work with an amazing management team and everyone is very positive and supportive.
I also live by the notion that everything you do is based on the choices you make, and you – and only you – are responsible for the choices you make.”